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If you want an excellent symphonic metal album with space-inspired themes embedded into the music, look no further, for Aeons of Magick really delivers! It's epic, adventurous, atmospheric, imaginative, and more. Aeons of Magick is one of the best symphonic black metal albums of the 90s because of its rich songwriting and ambitious performance.
Immediately as the album starts with "Sidereal Mirror", there is a grandiose symphonic opening filled with all sorts of different instruments. It's so powerful sounding and it feels like it's been conducted by a professional symphony - like something out of Vienna or New York. The opening kind of reminds me of a circus as it does appear a bit jovial, but definitely mature and sincere. The real awesomeness happens when the symphony intersects with the metal. This is an amazing transition that feels very natural. The guitars only come in lightly, but it's at the perfect frequency in the mixture. Gornoth's roars do a tremendous job at bridging the two main elements of metal and orchestras. He sounds a bit like Ihsahn from the early Emperor albums, but with better production around, it's quite a nice taste. It doesn't end there either, for the music remains ever captivating. The riffs are pretty memorable and are supplemented well by flutes, i believe, which are pretty present in the music.
Overall the music is very "big." I feel like so much is going on at once. A good example of this would be in "The Collapsing Spheres of Time". This track starts off incredibly aggressive but slowly builds up. It reminds me a great big battle that's about to commence in space. There's so much tension in the atmosphere and the music itself feels so cinematic. I feel like I'm watching Star Wars whenever this track plays on. For a track that's nearly nine minutes, I'm definitely at the edge of my seat each time I listen to this. It's that powerful. The title track is no slouch either - the band really capitalizes on those grandiose symphonies that slur noticeably on top of the riffs. The second half of this track seems very experimental with the symphonic parts and again, feels very cinematic. For some reason, the title track reminds me of some old Sci Fi movie about space exploration (Star Trek maybe?).
The only reason I'm not giving Aeons of Magick a higher score is that the two symphony-based instrumentals don't really do much for me. Sure, they're very professionally done and serve as good breaks between the metal tracks, but other than that, they aren't particularly hooking to me. They still sound pretty grand, but I personally have just skipped them most of the time. Others may disagree because it could be something I'm missing - after all, there isn't anything wrong with them . Be that as it may, Aeons of Magick is one of the best symphonic metal albums you can ever come across. Fans of the symphonic or space metal genres will no doubt eat this up, but even if you never cared for this type of music in the past, this album is still a high quality piece of work and Sirius should only be commended immensely for their efforts.